Healthy Vegan Peanut Butter Cups: Salted Caramel and Cinnamon Tahini

I have a major sweet tooth. There’s not a day that goes by where I’m not rummaging through my pantry for a sweet treat, and lately I’ve been on a chocolate kick.

I love chocolate of all kinds (except for Almond Joys has anyone ever enjoyed an Almond Joy?) and one of my favorite chocolates as a kid was Reese's. But devastatingly for me and my plant-based lifestyle of choice, these contain milk products.

When I discovered dairy-free peanut butter cups, I was hooked. But healthy peanut butter cups from the store can be super expensive. This simple homemade version tastes even better, is less expensive, and is a base for unlimited, customizable flavor combinations you can make to satisfy your sweet cravings.

IMG_6613.JPG

These creamy, dark chocolate peanut butter cups are the good-for-you version of the ones you couldn’t resist as a kid.

To make the base for all three of these flavors, you’ll only need two ingredients: dark chocolate and peanut butter powder. You’ll want to use a powder with no added sugar to make sure you’re getting all the benefits of this healthy treat.

IMG_6617.JPG

I love using peanut butter powder because you can easily control the consistency by adding more or less water. Plus, it has all the protein of regular peanut butter without feeling so heavy.

You’ll also want to choose a good quality dark chocolate with a high cacao percentage. As much as I loved milk chocolate growing up and can’t deny, it’s damn delicious, I’ve grown to love the richness of real dark chocolate. Not only do you get a deeper and more decadent flavor to your sweets, you also get all the added health benefits that you won’t from milk chocolate like a high concentration of antioxidants and anti inflammatory effects.

IMG_6610.JPG

To start making the cups, place the peanut butter powder into a medium sized bowl and add four tablespoons of water. Stir the mixture until the powder is completely dissolved.

Chop the dark chocolate bar into chunks and microwave them in a large bowl for thirty second intervals. This should take about three to four rounds.

Once the chocolate is completely melted, transfer teaspoon-sized portions into individual parchment cups. I would suggest placing your parchment cups in a muffin tray to ensure the cups hold their structure. Place the tray into the fridge for about five minutes until the chocolate is set. Then add a teaspoon of peanut butter on top of the chocolate base and cover the top of each cup with another teaspoon of dark chocolate until all the cups are filled.

Sprinkle your peanut butter cups with sea salt and place them in the fridge to set completely for at least an hour. You can also use toppings like edible flowers or granola bits.

IMG_6611.JPG

The best part of this homemade recipe is all the easy variations you can play around with. My favorite version is gooey, sweet salted caramel cups with vegan date caramel, topped with a pinch of sea salt. I absolutely love using date caramel for my desserts as a natural sweetener.

You can also opt for the tahini cinnamon version, which perfectly compliments the peanut butter flavor with a combination of nutty tahini and warm cinnamon.

IMG_6513.jpg
IMG_6514.jpg

These are just a few of my favorite flavors, but you can also add your choice of ingredients to create peanut butter cups that you like best. You can even include superfoods like maca powder or chia seeds to for additional nutrient benefits.

Healthy Peanut Butter Cups

Takes , Serves 6.

Ingredients

    Peanut Butter Cup Base
  • ½ Cup Powdered Peanut Butter (48 g)
  • 4 TBSP Water
  • 1 Cup Dark Chocolate

  • Salted Caramel Peanut Butter Cups
  • ⅓ Cup Dates (60g)
  • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 4 tsp Almond Milk
  • 2 tsp Rice Malt Syrup
  • Sea Salt for Garnish

  • Tahini Cinnamon Peanut Butter Cups
  • ¼ Cup Tahini (55g)
  • 2 tsp Pure Maple Syrup
  • 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon, plus additional for garnish

  • Instructions

    1. Line 12-cup muffin tray with parchment cups.
    2. Mix peanut butter powder with water until mixture is completely smooth. Set aside.
    3. Chop a dark chocolate bar into chunks and microwave using three to four 30-second intervals until fully melted. Stir chocolate between rounds.
    4. Pour just enough dark chocolate in each liner to cover the bottom of the cup. Then place tray in the freezer for about 5 minutes to set.
    5. For Original Peanut Butter Cups: Add a small scoop of peanut butter to the center of each cup. Then add enough dark chocolate over the peanut butter to cover the top of the cup.
    6. For Salted Caramel Cups: In a food processor, add dates, vanilla, almond milk, and rice malt syrup. Process until mixture is completely smooth and forms a caramel consistency. Add a small scoop of the mixture and a small scoop of peanut butter to the center of each cup. Then add enough dark chocolate over to cover the top of each cup. Garnish with sea salt.
    7. For Cinnamon Tahini Cups: In a small bowl, mix tahini, maple syrup, and cinnamon until combined. Add a small scoop of the mixture and a small scoop of peanut butter to the center of each cup. Then add enough dark chocolate over to cover the top of each cup. Garnish with cinnamon.
    8. Place tray in the fridge for about an hour to chill and set completely.